- 39.2.1 Labor-Management Contract Negotiations
- 18.104.22.168 The Role of the GLS Attorney
- 22.214.171.124 Proceedings before the Federal Services Impasses Panel
- 126.96.36.199 Negotiability Appeals Before the Federal Labor Relations Authority Arising From Local Negotiations
- 188.8.131.52 Negotiability Appeals Before the FLRA Arising From National Negotiations
Part 39. General Legal Services
Chapter 2. Labor and Related Matters
Section 1. Labor-Management Contract Negotiations
The Associate Chief Counsel (General Legal Services) has the responsibility of providing legal representation to the Service and Counsel management at collective bargaining negotiations involving:
The Service and the collective bargaining representative of Service employees
The Office of Chief Counsel and the collective bargaining representative of Counsel employees
This section describes the procedures the GLS attorney will use when assigned to national and/or local labor-management contract negotiations.
Area Counsel (GLS) will act as legal advisor in the negotiation and administration of local Service and Counsel collective bargaining agreements. In all other negotiations, the Associate Chief Counsel (GLS) will designate the legal advisor.
The role of the GLS attorney will be decided on a case-by-case basis and may include the following:
Participating on negotiating teams as a full voting member and/or as legal counsel only
Being present at negotiating sessions
Providing legal opinions, research and advice in preparation for negotiations and at all stages of negotiations
Drafting and reviewing contract language
Advising committee members of possible legal problems including negotiability issues
Serving on the planning committee to provide the negotiating committee with proposals and strategy
Proposing changes to negotiated agreements to cure legal problems encountered in past and current agreements
Handling negotiability issues arising in local negotiations including submission to the Federal Labor Relations Authority
Advising the committee on potential unfair labor practices
Assisting in the preparation of any written materials for presentation to a third-party mediator
Participating in all proceedings with a third-party mediator providing the same legal advice and assistance role as in negotiations with the union
Representing the Service or Counsel before the Federal Services Impasses Panel (See CCDM 184.108.40.206, Proceedings before the Federal Services Impasses Panel)
The GLS attorney will not serve as management spokesperson in negotiations involving the Service or Counsel.
When either party files a request for Federal Services Impasses Panel (FSIP) action, the GLS attorney is responsible for representing IRS or Counsel management at all stages of the proceedings before the FSIP in accordance with the regulations of the FSIP at 5 C.F.R. Part 2470, including:
Preparing all pre-hearing written submissions to the FSIP, as appropriate
Presenting the Service or Counsel management case before the factfinder, including preparing the case for hearing, examining witnesses, introducing documents and presenting oral argument
Preparing a post-hearing brief. A decision to not file a post-hearing brief shall be approved by Area Counsel (GLS) or by the Chief, Claims, Labor, and Personnel Law (CLP), as appropriate
Preparing a written statement to the FSIP setting forth the reasons for not accepting the factfinder’s recommendations if IRS or Counsel management desires not to follow the recommendations of the factfinder
Area Counsel (GLS) is responsible for representing IRS and Counsel management in negotiability appeals arising from local negotiations.
Where the union has filed a petition for review of a Service or Counsel allegation that a union proposal is not within the duty to bargain, the GLS attorney will, consistent with any existing memorandums of understanding and office practice, notify the appropriate servicing labor relations offices and client organizations of receipt of the petition.
The GLS attorney will examine the petition to see if it complies with the requirements of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) regulations. If appropriate, the GLS attorney shall file objections to the petition.
The GLS attorney will assist management in preparing and participating in the post-petition conference held with a representative of the FLRA.
The GLS attorney shall prepare and file the agency statement of position in accordance with the requirements of the FLRA regulations. The agency’s statement of position must include any request for a hearing and the reasons supporting such request. A decision to request or not request a hearing must be approved by the Area Counsel (GLS) or Chief, CLP, as appropriate.
If the union files a response to the agency’s statement of position, the GLS attorney will prepare and file a reply to the union’s response, as appropriate, and consistent with FLRA regulations. A decision not to file a reply must be approved by Area Counsel (GLS) or the Chief, CLP, as appropriate.
If a hearing is scheduled by the FLRA, the GLS attorney will prepare the case for hearing including determining the facts, identifying and interviewing prospective witnesses, and identifying and gathering necessary documents.
The GLS attorney will be prepared to make both opening and closing statements. Since the FLRA regulations provide that additional submissions will not be considered unless the FLRA, in its discretion, grants permission, the GLS attorney shall consider requesting permission to file a post-hearing brief if it would be in the interest of the client and circumstances warrant an additional filing. A decision to request or not request to file a post-hearing brief must be approved by the Area Counsel (GLS) or Chief, CLP, as appropriate.
At the hearing, the GLS attorney will introduce relevant documentary and testimonial evidence which supports the Service’s or Counsel’s case.
The FLRA regulations governing appeals from an assertion that a proposal is not within the duty to bargain are found at 5 C.F.R. Part 2424.
Appeals by Opposing Party. A petition for review by the FLRA may only be filed by an exclusive representative that is a party to the negotiations. In the event that a petition for review is filed by the exclusive representative, the GLS attorney shall:
Promptly review the petition for review to determine the extent of the Agency’s response and to determine the applicable time frames for responding.
Consult with the appropriate servicing labor relations offices and client organizations.
Prepare an agency statement of position and, if appropriate, an agency reply, in accordance with the requirements of 5 C.F.R. §§ 2424.24 and 2424.26, respectively.
Process any review of the agency statement and reply consistent with the procedural guidance issued by the Area Counsel (GLS) and Associate Chief Counsel (GLS) or designee.
Appeals of Decisions Adverse to the Agency. In the event that a decision is adverse to the agency’s position, the GLS attorney shall:
Promptly review the decision to determine whether grounds for review exist and to determine the applicable time frame for review or appeal.
Consult with the appropriate client organizations which have final authority for deciding whether to appeal and with the servicing labor relations offices.
Process any review or appeal consistent with the procedural guidance issued by the Area Counsel (GLS) and Associate Chief Counsel (GLS) or designee (consultation with the Chief, CLP, is required in seeking review or appeal of cases that require the involvement of the General Counsel’s Office, Department of the Treasury, Office of Personnel Management, DOJ or when a significant case).
Prepare a written appeal for filing if necessary.
Ensure compliance with General Counsel Order No. 10.
Ensure that any appeal to the Court of Appeals or higher has the approval of the Chief Counsel or Chief Counsel’s delegate.
Handling negotiability appeals arising from national negotiations is within the authority of the Department of the Treasury. Upon request, the GLS attorney shall provide assistance and litigation support to the General Counsel, Department of the Treasury.